By Jack Mayne The Des Moines City Council unanimously voted at its Aug. 8 study session to suspend participation in the Port of Seattle’s airport Stakeholder Advisory Round Table, also known as StART. Earlier in the same week, on Monday Aug. 5, the Burien City Council, citing similar reasons, suspended participation in the same “stakeholder” group. In Des Moines, the issue was brought up for consideration by City Manager Michael Matthias “in response to actions by the Port of Seattle and the airport in recent weeks,” to finance design of facilities before the StART process was completed as a violation of protocol. The “connection to StART is that the communication” actions recently have “violated” the discovery process and the “temporary suspension” was proposed by councilmembers. ‘Fairly Deliberate’ Councilmember Luisa Bangs said there “was this lack of transparency that we have always requested and based on the fact that we require transparency … it is incumbent upon this large organization (that) I did work for at one point in time,” but now she is “very disappointed” and said it felt “fairly deliberate.” She added that the StART committee is “sorely lacking in that action” to keep actions confidential. Matthias told the Des Moines Council study session Thursday night that the Des Moines and Burien airport advisory committees plan to meet in late September to “look at ways come up with joint strategies” and to make StART more functional, “if possible.” Mayor Matt Pina said the Port “violated the process that was so fundamental” that he wants the Port and the Federal Aviation Administration to know that the Port of Seattle “is an entity that is not working in good faith in this community. I am really upset” at the Port moving forward on the project before the study is finished. Councilmember Rob Back said he already has had issues with the joint city, Port START committee, “and I don’t like being bullied by neighbors and so I have lost trust in the Port of Seattle.” Deputy Mayor Vic Pennington said the Port will have to earn back the trust they have lost with this move to silence discussion of the committee. Committee important At the Burien Council meeting on Monday, retired Des Moines Mayor Dave Kaplan, who is now the Port’s Local Government Relations Manager, asked that the city council not to leave the StART committee as the Burien Airport Committee suggested; but the Council did vote to suspend its participation. “We believe more is accomplished by being engaged working to resolve issues of concern rather than excluding yourselves from the conversation,” Kaplan told Burien lawmakers. Participation on the stakeholder round table “has resulted in the late-night noise limitation program which began on July 1st and soon to be finalized runway use agreement that limits the use of the third runway during late night hours and agreement to change the glide slope to at least three degrees on long runways.” Kaplan told the Burien Council that changes were possible only because Burien and other surrounding cities were advocating that these steps were possible. 2020 Budget Outlined City Manager Matthias and the department heads outlined the first of a series of presentations over the next few months of the 2020 city budget, a brighter picture the past couple of years after a slew of fixes and changes moving the city from near bankruptcy to a solid solvency. The department head gave thumbnail sketches of their proposed budgets and the Council with approve or change during budget meeting from now to near the end of the year. Twenty year pin Des Moines Finance Director Beth Ann Wroe presented IT specialist Dale Southwick (pictured, right) his 20-year service pin during the Council’s Thursday study session.]]>